The crew of a passenger ferry travelling to Ireland from France discovered 16 middle eastern migrants stowed aboard in a sealed truck trailer, Irish police say.
The 16 men were found in good health, during a routine inspection on board the ferry while it was travelling from the French port of Cherbourg to Rosslare in southeast Ireland,
Police said they believe all the migrants are adults, but are still seeking to confirm the age of one, who may be a juvenile
Staff on the Swedish operated ferry opened the trailer unit with the assistance of the truck's driver, and the men were taken to a private lounge where they received medical and welfare care, police said in a statement.
"This has been a traumatic experience for these men and they are being treated with sympathy and compassion," the statement said.
Police are examining the truck, which they said is owned by a local Irish based-company.
The owners and the driver, a male in his 50s who has been a resident of Ireland for over 25 years are co-operating fully with the investigation, police said.
On October 23, the bodies of 39 people, all believed to be Vietnamese migrants, were discovered in the back of a refrigerated truck near London.
Two people have been charged in Britain and eight in Vietnam over the deaths.
Dutch authorities on Tuesday found 25 migrants stowed away on a cargo ferry bound for Britain shortly after it left the Netherlands.
© RAW 2019